The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Chapters 163 - 181 Summary

Christopher's father is trying to regain his son's trust, after Christopher learns his mother is alive. Christopher is incapable of lying and he is incapable of accepting lies from anyone else. His father admits he should have told him the truth, but it is hard sometimes to tell the truth, especially if the truth is going to hurt. He promises he will tell Christopher the truth from now on. He starts proving this to Christopher, by admitting he killed Wellington, Mrs. Shears dog.

He explains to Christopher that Mrs. Shears has become important to him and he thought she might move in with him and Christopher. Unfortunately, they began to fight and it became clear to him she didn't want to live with them, but instead preferred living alone with her dog. This made him extremely angry, so after the last fight, as he walked out of her house, he saw the dog and it turned on him. Christopher's father admits he should have just kicked the dog out of the way, but he was so angry he killed it instead.

This admission has a stunning effect on Christopher. He reasons that if his father could murder the dog, then he could murder him, so he needs to leave the house. Christopher waits until 1:20 in the morning to sneak downstairs, so he can check to see if his father is asleep. He is asleep and Christopher gathers his pet rat, his special food, and his coats, then he sneaks out the back door. He spends the night sleeping behind the shed in their backyard.

In the morning his father searches for him, but doesn't find him. He leaves in his truck, which allows Christopher to make a major decision. He decides he can no longer live with his father, because it is too dangerous. He looks at all the people he could ask to take him in and first he settles on Mrs. Shears. He thinks she will accept him, after he explains his father is the person who killed her dog. He knocks on her door, but she is not home.

He then considers whether he should go to his mother, his Uncle Terry, back home, or stay in the garden. He looks at all the possibilities logically and settles on going to his mother. He is afraid to travel to London, because he has never been there before, but he feels he can find his way by riding the train. His parents had once given him a train set for Christmas and explained to him how to read a train schedule, buy a ticket, and read a departure board.

Before he leaves to take the train to London, Christopher needs to find someone to care for Toby, his pet rat, because he feels he can't take him with him. He decides the best person to leave Toby with would be Mrs. Alexander. This is all part of his plan to leave his home and travel to London. His plan involves finding money to pay for his trip, acquiring food to eat on the trip, and securing someone to take care of Toby.

Mrs. Alexander is surprised by Christopher's request that she care for Toby and the news his mother is alive and living in London. Christopher explains to her that his father killed Wellington, so he feels unsafe living with him. She suggests calling his father so they can straighten out their problems and Christopher can continue living with his father. But Christopher is not interested in talking to his father and runs away from Mrs. Alexander.

He instead returns home and breaks a window to gain entry to the house. He packs up some clothes, food, and his father's bank card. He puts Toby in his pocket and now his plan is complete, all he needs to do is find his way to the train station. He thinks the teacher's aide, Siobhan, can tell him how to find the train station, but since he has missed the school bus he must walk to school. He has never walked to school before, but after a 47 minute walk he finally arrives. He, all during this morning, has been dealing with a lot of fear, fear of his father, fear of the unknown, fear of being away from home. As he approaches the school he sees his father's van parked outside the school and realizes he cannot go inside and talk to Siobhan. He is overcome by all his emotions and vomits on the sidewalk.

He hatches another plan to find the train station. He remembers being told at school that strangers who are ladies are safer than strangers who are men. He sees a woman and her small children across the street from the school and approaches her to ask where he can buy a map. Instead of telling him where to buy a map, she gives him directions to the train station. He tries to follow her directions, but soon finds himself lost. By walking in a spiral and making right turns, he finally finds the train station.

Being in a new place is overwhelming to Christopher, because he takes in everything at once unlike most people, who focus on only part of a new space. This causes him to crash and he needs to close his eyes and groan to refocus himself. He has to have time to assimilate all the new information. The train station is almost more than he can handle on his own.

Christopher after finding out his mother is alive and his father killed Wellington, decides he can no longer live with his father. He feels if his father can kill a dog, then he can kill him. He determines the only safe option is for him to travel to London, to live with his mother. He tries to overcome his fears as he begins this journey alone.

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Literature Summaries

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